Even a PhD Couldn’t Keep This Man Off Food Stamps

This is a little infuriating.

After earning a PhD. and going on the dole, he says it’s tough on his psyche.

>> “It can be very tough on the pysche …”

I wonder how it feels to be working a $30,000/year job at a store serving a PhD. on food stamps, that you’re paying for out of your $30,000 salary? I bet that’s tough on the psyche.

>> “The darkest moment had to be when I finished my dissertation. I turned it in and there (was) no job …”

No, I think what he really means is that there were no $80,000-$120,000 jobs easily available, and that he believes he’s above taking one of the many available $25,000 jobs until he finds something else he wants. I believe Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell drove a cab for some time while trying to make ends meet while in grad school.

I bet I could find this guy a job in a day if he was serious about finding one.

Even a PhD Couldn’t Keep This Man Off Food Stamps – Yahoo! Finance: Tony Yang is getting beaten to a pulp. He’s not wanted by mobsters nor is he another Cybercrime bully. The former University of California doctoral student (c/o ’09) just says that’s what it feels like each quarter when he wraps up an adjunct teaching gig and goes home without a permanent job offer. “It can be very tough on the pysche,” he told the Chronicle of Higher Education. “The darkest moment had to be when I finished my dissertation. I turned it in and there (was) no job … So when I graduated, the first thing I had to do was file for unemployment.” As a kid, his family supplemented their income with food stamps. Decades later, he found himself in the same position, applying for welfare to get by when his doctoral degree wasn’t enough to bring home a steady paycheck.

  • http://ourdinnertable.wordpress.com Seth

    I appreciate how the include the story of Ginger Dean in the story. Good for her. She did the math I didn’t believe that spending $120k to get a PhD in psychology was worth it because it would have increased her income by $5k.

    That seemed to be the author’s soft way of saying that perhaps Tony should have been thinking about what jobs he might have long before he turned in his dissertation. Though, they should have said that directly. Tony needs to hear that.

  • Michael E. Marotta

    That the Chronicle of Higher Education considered this printable is the real insult.  Dr. Tony Yang claims to have studied history, but been surprised to discover a dearth of jobs for history majors. Who knew? 
    Also, he expected to be hired right away fulltime faculty.  Apparenlty, he must have been one brilliant student, expecting to be offered jobs to choose from because of his stellar research in a fascinating problem in history.
    One of my sociology profs a generation younger than I drove 60 miles between schools a couple times a week for a couple of years until the job he wanted came along. 
    It is interesting that Dr. Yang is a second-generation welfare recipient.  However, I cannot join the chorus here.  Foodstamps are what they are for two reasons: no American should go hungry as long as American farmers are productive.  Foodstamps are just another form of post office, highway, or park. You can advocate their privatization while using them and still not be a hypocrite – or so said Ayn Rand.
    Whether a Ph.D. is cost effective or not is an individual decision.  You must have a doctorate tobe a certified forensic psychologist … but not to counsel married couples.  Depends on your goals.  Also, $45,000 or even $100,000 is not a crushing debt load.  Sallie Mae is very easy to work with on repayment.  And a new car costs $45,000 and new home $200,000.  Student loan payback is about like your iPod internet charges or Cable TV or monthly parking, all just ancillary expenses that cut into beer money.

  • Michael E. Marotta

    Just a follow-up.  No publications in JSTOR or any other database I could access.  He gradutated UC Riverside, but they have no dissertation in the library for him.  Also, for what it is worth, he has been rated low as a professor, even when he was a teaching assistant in 2007.

    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=1538295&all=trueOverall 2.5  Helpful 2.1  Clarity 2.8  Easiness 2.6Cal State San Bernadino

    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=984824&all=trueUniversity of California at RiversideUCR graduate and worked as a TA back in 2007Overall 3.5  Helpful 3.2  Clarity 3.9  Easiness 3.1

    Students take Economic History, and complain that it is “boring.”   Myself, I never had a boring class.  Ever. Many, I liked; some, I hated.  All were interesting in some way.
    Rate My Professors does skew to the negative. It is where students can complain to each other. I have had a couple of good professors raked over the coals on RMP, and I chalked it up to the abysmal ignorance of freshmen and wise ignorance of sophomores.  That said, a trend is pretty easy to spot.

    When it comes to history (or just about anything), I do not understand how students can so easily know that the professor “knows the material.” It’s not like the history professor has a time machine. He only speaks with a voice of authority.  Who checks his facts?  Anyway, Tony has a ways to go to earn his place.  Also UCR has a program in “public history” for people who want to earn their living researching and creating the collective memories of organizations. Seems like an option …